Are you looking for an easier way to get around for you or your loved one? If you’re like me as a physically challenged person, you must be tired of depending on someone to take you in a wheelchair when you want to go somewhere. And maybe the person needing to take you is also tired and would love it if you could get around by yourself. I think it’s time to consider a mobility scooter. If you agree, read on to see what some choices are in mobility scooters.
What is a Mobility Scooter?
A mobility scooter is also referred to as an electrical scooter or a power-operated scooter that is built somewhat like a two-wheel motor scooter but has at least three wheels. A mobility scooter is not a scooter that you take on the streets like an electrical bicycle or motor scooter but is meant for anyone that is unable to walk any more than a few steps but yet is active enough to get around without the aid of a caregiver. In other words, it’s for an independent physically challenged person.
Whether you go through insurance or not, this is your guide for finding the best scooter for you. I’m going to review five of the best mobility scooters available.
Drive Medical Scout Compact Travel Power Scooter, 4-Wheel
The 4-wheel Compact Travel Scout is considered a smaller scooter at a big value due to its lightweight compact portability and transportability. It can be easily taken apart into five pieces to transport in the trunk of a car. It is more stable than a scooter with just three wheels as it’s able to go over many uneven outdoor surfaces, although it may be rather bumpy since this model doesn’t have suspension. The Scout DST model has suspension for about $200 more. It should be noted that the word “Travel” in its name means that it is mostly meant for that and not to be depended on as an everyday scooter. It’s compact, making it great going to outside activities but like most scooters, not recommended for wet weather or snow.
One neat feature is that it not only comes in two colors of red and blue but you get both colors because it has double panels that can be switched to show either color. The double panels serve also to protect the surface so if one gets scratched, it can be switched to the other. The stadium style seat swivels 180 degrees for easy access and it is adjustable in height with a backrest that folds down and padded arms that are width adjustable.
The Delta tiller (steering handle with a lock) makes steering very easy with the ergonomic throttle that will go in reverse and has the ability to adjust the angle to the best position for you. Maneuvering is good but for those hard to get places that may be a bit difficult due to the four wheels not turning as sharp as a three-wheeler, there is a lock on the steering column that allows it to turn better. It comes with a roomy basket to carry your shopping bags and also with two easy to connect 12-volt 12AH batteries that weigh only 20 pounds and charge in about eight hours. The tires will not go flat, tip you over or mark up the floor. You can see how to take it apart and get a closer look at it by clicking here. Here are some specs for the Scout 4-wheel scooter:
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs
- Seat width: 16.5 inches adjustable
- Maximum speed: 4.25 mph
- Maximum range: 9 miles
- Ground clearance: 2.5 inches
- Turning radius: 53.75 inches
- Climbing angle: 6 degrees
- Brakes: Electromagnetic
- Motor: 24V x 270W x 4700 rpm
- Size: 35” H x 42.5” L x 20.5” W
- Seat to floor height: 17” to 19”
- Weight: 94 lbs with the heaviest disassembled piece of 39 lbs
- Warranty: 14 months on scooter, 6 months on battery
Besides some complaints about the instructions being lacking, there were many great reviews from satisfied users with the Scout 4-wheel scooter as a traveling scooter. Many said they loved the four wheels for stability as well as the quiet motor. Most found it was easy to assemble and take apart. Many were impressed with the price and thought it was as good as others costing hundreds of dollars more. Some noted that it can be partially disassembled to fit in the back of an SUV and it is light enough to be loaded into the back of a van without even disassembling it.
- Lightweight, easy-to-disassemble powered scooter provides stability on rough outdoor terrain.
- Comfort maximized with adjustable padded swivel seat, backrest, and armrests.
- Delta-shaped steering handle makes driving effortless, even with limited dexterity.
- Equipped with non-marking, anti-tip wheels, and interchangeable red and blue color panels.
- Seat Width: 16.5 inch; Max Speed: 4.25 mph; Climbing Angle: 6 degrees; Maximum Range: 9 miles; Motor: 24V x 270W x 4700rpm; Turning Radius: 53.75 inch; Ground Clearance: 2.5 inch; Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
Silverado Extreme 4-Wheel Full Suspension Electric Mobility Scooter
The Silverado Extreme 4-Wheel Model S941L is one of Merits’ newer models of mobility scooters. It is top-of-the-line with its full suspension and shock absorbers to give you a soft and comfy ride. Also for your comfort, the seat has a 25-inch high back, is 20 inches wide, and the headrest and armrests padded and are adjustable.
The Silverado Extreme 4-wheel scooter is the sports model of scooters that packs the power. It is able to cruise as high as 9.6 mph with an automatic turning sensor that cuts the speed when you turn. This high-end scooter comes standard with two 12V 75AH or you can upgrade to two 12V 100AH batteries for an additional cost. The 100AH battery can give you up to 55 miles on one charge whereas the 75AH can also give you a good 32 miles on one charge. It can also ride over almost any terrain with a 5.1-inch ground clearance and large 16” wheels. With such heavy duty strength, the Silverado can carry a person weighing up to 450 pounds.
It has a brilliant light system with LEDs to conserve battery power and gives you plenty of light to see where you’re going. The dashboard has LCD digital display that gives you the time, a speedometer, an odometer, the battery’s usage, temperature, and gives you messages for when you need to do maintenance. You can even charge your phone with the charging cord.
The tiller is adjustable with a lock and with extra room for storage below. The intelligent, regenerative, electromagnetic brakes are similar to what are used on electrical automobiles, which transforms one type of energy into another giving the scooter better stopping power and further range.
As if that isn’t enough, it comes with a free accessories bundle, which includes a cup holder, armrest bag, cooler bag, and a vinyl cover. There are other accessories you can order such as a canopy, oxygen holder, cane, or walker holder, and a rear basket, all for additional costs. Here are some of the specs that we haven’t covered for Silverado Model S941L:
- Available colors: Black only
- Total weight: 387 pounds
- Dimensions: 61 inches L x 29 inches W x 57.3 H
- Turn radius: 7 inches
- Wheelbase: 45 inches
- Seat to ground: 26.4 inches
- Seat to deck: 19 inches
- Seat size: 20 inches W x 18 inches D
- Foot room: 21 inches
- Wheels: front 14 inches pneumatic, rear 16 inches pneumatic
- Motor: DC 24V, 650W(Rating) 2200W(Max)
The Silverado Extreme is extremely wide at 29 inches, which could be a good thing for a heavy and tall person but if you are living somewhere that’s not universally designed for physically challenged people and the standard inside door width is just 30 inches or less, you will not be able to maneuver into your bedroom or even worse, your bathroom. This model would be good if you live in a universally designed home or for outside use with its large wheels and high ground clearance.
- 100Ah Upgraded batteries for up to 55 miles travel range on a single charge
- Digital LCD dashboard display: battery gauge, accumulated usage hours, temperature, maintenance messages
- Full suspension system with stock absorbers offers delivers a smooth and comfortable ride
- Modern LED lighting system delivers a brilliant light with less power consumption
- Challenger Accessory Bundle included: Weather Cover, Cooler Bag, Cup Holder & Armrest Bag.
SmartScoot Lithium, Lightweight, Foldable Travel Electric Scooter
The SmartScoot Foldable Travel scooter is just as its name says, “Smart” as it is known as the world’s most versatile scooter and it sure can “Scoot” up to 7 mph, depending on your weight. When I first saw a picture of one I thought it looked like a kid’s trike but upon closer inspection, I found that it is made for adults to use indoors or outdoors but is not classified as durable medical equipment.
You need to be aware that this scooter is for people who do not qualify for a medical mobility scooter but are somewhat limited in walking longer distances. You do need to be able to walk without assistance, coordination, and strength in hand to use the throttle and brake, and balance to handle turns and inclines. So if that’s what you need, this would be a great fit. Insurance does not cover this scooter so if you are injured or confined to a wheelchair, it would be better to go to your doctor for approval of a different type of scooter.
The main thing I was impressed by was how lightweight this stainless steel frame is and how easy it is to fold up. Even I could fold it as it doesn’t need any tools and when you take the seat and battery off, it would be easy to lift the three pieces into the back of our SUV. The heaviest piece is 27 pounds with the total being 39 pounds, which is lighter than some wheelchairs. What is different from other scooters is that this one can go with you if you travel, such as on cruises and you can take it with on airlines taking the battery as a carry-on.
The SmartScoot has a lightweight Lithium Ion battery that is rechargeable in as little as an hour and will last about 12 miles. It has a front-wheel drive motor with speed setting of low, medium, and high with reverse, as well as disc brakes and a parking brake. Compared to other similar models that have rear-wheel drive, SmartScoot is the only one with front-wheel, which is much better for going up inclines; however, it won’t be able to go in terrains such as grass, mud or snow.
The steering column and the width of the wheels are adjustable, as well as the seat and backrest. Persons up to 6’6” and weighing up to 250 pounds can use the SmartScoot. It even has a horn you can toot when people get in your way. Below are listed some of its specs:
- Size setup: 38” L x 22” W x 39” H
- Size folded with seat on: 38” L x 22” W x 30.5” H
- Size folded without seat: 38” L x 22” W x 17” H
- Battery: 4 pounds, 36V, 8 amp hr 288-watt Li-ion rechargeable,
meets UN PT.III 38.3 for airline requirements
- Three speeds: 3, 5 and 7 mph
- Ground clearance: 9” front, 3” rear
Even though the SmartScoot is helpful for the independent traveler with its ability to meet airline requirements and get you to the gate without doing a lot of walking, that heaviest piece is still a lot for some people and that piece is rather long and awkward to lift when it has to be disassembled before boarding. Its disadvantage of not being covered by insurance is rather disappointing but understandable. Another disadvantage is that has no key so could easily be stolen. Because it is so lightweight, going the fast speed of 7 mph could be dangerous. Another thing is that the price is not lightweight!
- Lightweight under 40 lbs. Easy to fold, no tools required
- Easily breaks apart into 3 sections with lightest section 27 lbs. No tools required.
- Stainless Steel Frame light weight and rust proof.
- Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery, long lasting up to 12 miles.
Hummer XL Folding 4-wheel Electric Mobility—Tzora Titan 4
The Titan 4 made by Tzora is a powerful heavy duty 4-wheel scooter known as the “all terrain” scooter for its ability to take you just about anywhere. It has a turning radius of 42 inches and can go up inclines that are steep capable of 8-degree grade, plus it can go over grass, gravel that’s rocky, snow that’s not too deep so it is basically weatherproof. The Titan 4 is made for adventuring off road outdoors but also makes a great scooter for inside. Unlike other center post scooters, it is designed for stability and safety with a 4-post seat which increases stability by 45 percent and is comfortable with an 18-inch wide memory foam seat.
Some other features are that the Titan 4 has full suspension on front and back with large rear tires that are 14 inches and front tires that are 10 inches, both are thick with heavy duty pneumatic tires. The front bumper is impact resistant giving you a safe ride with electronic brakes when going up to 7.5 mph. Another high-performance feature that gives the Titan 4 plenty of power is the optional Lithium-ion that weigh only 10 pounds each opposed to the standard lead battery that weighs 21 pounds. It takes the Lithium only 30 minutes to charge whereas the standard battery takes eight hours. You can go 25 miles on the Lithium but standard goes 19 miles, which is still great. A free battery off-board charger is included and you can carry the lightweight batteries inside to charge. To carry your Titan 4 in the car simply remove the batteries and pop off the front section that is 48 pounds and the rear section that is 51 pounds.
Driving couldn’t be easier with all the controls on the adjustable tiller, such as battery gauge indicator, LED status indicator, headlight and hazard light switches, two-sided throttle, high-frequency horn, speed adjustment dial, light package controls, as well as rubber & neoprene hand grips and ignition with a key. A large basket is included to be placed in a solid holder behind the seat. Here are some more specs:
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs
- Ground clearance: 5”
- Length: 55”
- Width: 24”
- Height: 38”
- Seat width: 18”
- Seat Depth: 18.5”
- Back section: 24” W x 16” H x 21” L
- Front section: 24” W x 24” H x 32” L
- Total weight: 116 lbs
- Battery: Lead acid is 21 lbs x 2, Lithium is 10 lbs x 2
Titan 4 looks like the “Rocky” of the scooters because of its tough endurance and high performance that will go over tough terrain but is comfortable to ride. This would be my choice because of the surface outside our apartment that is made up of small rocks that the wheelchair gets stuck in so I can’t even go the Laundromat so my husband does the laundry, which I love but sometimes I would like to be able to do it myself. It doesn’t cost any more than some other not so tough models in the range of $2,000-2,400. Amazon gave it 4.1 stars but I would go a bit higher but then I haven’t used it so I will just have to look into getting one.
- Complete full light system
- Speed 6.8 mph - 15.5 miles/charge - Heaviest Part 59.5 lbs only
- Full suspension and large tires. All Terrain Folding Scooter 300 LBS. Weight Capacity.
- 22" Wide Com-Fort-Fit seat
Drive Medical Phoenix HD4 Phoenix 4 Wheel Heavy Duty Scooter
The Phoenix HD4 is the only travel scooter on the market with a weight capacity of 350 pounds but probably not for anyone over six feet. It can go as fast as 4 mph with up to about a 150-mile range. It is definitely a travel scooter as it is easy to take apart into four pieces with the heaviest being 46 pounds for easy transport in your car, SUV or van with the total weight being 129 pounds. The back of the seat can be folded flat for easy storage or travel.
Phoenix HD4 is well known to be able to drive on many types of terrain and has a 3.75-inch ground clearance with flat-free 8 inch tires that don’t make marks on the floor and that are anti-tipping. Be sure your battery is fully charged before taking on rougher terrain as it will wear down the battery faster. It has a turning radius of 54 inches with an ergonomic throttle control for better control if you have limited strength in hands.
The Phoenix HD4 is a nice looking scooter with a stadium style seat that does not swivel, two-tone upholstery and adjustable armrests, plus you can change the panels to either blue or red. You can also adjust the tiller into the best position for you and has attached to it a large carry basket; however, when you pull the tiller closer it can cause the light to shine up in the air so be careful of that at night.
Batteries are two 12V 20AH that are 31 pounds each and are easy to take out and put back after being able to charge them separate from the scooter. The motor is a 24V x 350W x 3600rpm and it is not waterproof. Some free accessories that come with it are a scooter cover, an armrest bag and oval bag. Amazon rated this one 4 stars. Here are some more specs:
- Product weight: 129 lbs
- Base weight: 98 lbs
- Battery weight: 31 lbs
- Charger: Offboard, 1.5A
- Brakes: Electromagnetic
- Climb angle: 6 degrees
- Overall size: 36” H x 42” L x 23” W
- Seat width: 17.5”
- Seat weight: 21 lbs
- Seat to floor height: 20” to 22”
- Turning radius: 54”
Drive Medical Phoenix HD4 Power Scooter is very much like their 4-wheel Compact Travel Scout, which is about half the price, which may be worth it to someone who needs the weight capacity but I don’t know if that much more is necessary. Although I see that the list price at 4MDMedical was $2,700 and then marked down to $1,199, which is the same as on Amazon and other websites. Other than that there wasn’t much difference. Another cons is that it doesn’t’ have much foot room and it would stand to reason that if someone needs the higher weight capacity, they may be tall too so would need more leg room.
- Quick and easy disassembly with quick connect batteries; Includes interchangeable color panels in Red and Blue
- Comes with headlight and large, plastic carry basket
- Height-adjustable swivel seat with two-tone upholstery and fold-down backrest; Armrests are padded and adjustable
- Easy-to-adjust tiller
- Ergonomic throttle control with easy freewheel operation; Flat-free, non-marking tires and anti-tip wheels
Why Do You Need One?
If you or a loved one is mobility challenged, dealing with your health problem is frustrating enough without needing a better way of getting around at home or to outside activities. I say this because I’m in that exact situation and I’m tired of being at home all the time. Sure, I have two walkers and three different kinds of wheelchairs but it’s just not sufficient. I’m sure there are many of you who feel the same way or can relate if your loved one is in the same situation.
Wheelchairs are Limited
Being limited to where you can go or what you can do in a wheelchair is an everyday frustration, especially if you have just recently become unable to walk. It’s only been a few months for me and it has been a big adjustment. As I’m sure you know, you can become rather depressed and just stop doing some things you used to enjoy.
Moving Around at Home
One of my favorite hobbies is baking and it had been months since I had made peanut butter cookies so I got up the courage to give it a try. As I gathered all the needed ingredients, my wheelchair kept getting stuck or bumping the cabinets and then I almost fell out of it a couple of times trying to reach items and when I was done mixing ingredients, my wheelchair had flour and sticky stuff on the arms and wheels. I don’t think that would have happened with a scooter and that’s when I started my search for the right scooter.
Going Outside the Home
Another limitation is just going shopping. After struggling to get to the car, you don’t want to have to always need someone to come with you in order to take out the heavy wheelchair and then push you around. If you are anything like me, browsing items at a store is important to find the correct items and having someone with you could be unwanted at times. Having a mobility scooter would be ideal for both at home and when you go out just about anywhere.
I have a friend who has had polio most of her life and gets around with her scooter almost as if she had normal legs (but faster). She has become like a surrogate grandmother to three of my grandchild because she is able to do more than I am able to with them. I would never have thought I would say I’m jealous of her because of her independence on her mobility scooter but it’s true. She also gets to go to my 10-year old grandson’s football games to watch him catch the football like a pro but I can’t go because it’s too hard to push a wheelchair on the grass at the park. I must get a scooter!
How Do You Get One?
Mobility scooters can be bought at full price but if you have insurance, a doctor can prescribe it so you would be paying only the portion your insurance doesn’t cover. Of course, your doctor has to examine you to make sure you qualify for a mobility scooter. Once approved, you can start shopping for a scooter.
How to Find the Right Mobility Scooter for You
You are probably thinking what I am—How am I ever going to decide which one? First, you need to determine what priorities are most important to you by making a list of your priorities and then reordering them with the most important thing on top until it looks right. This can even be difficult because you may have a lot of priorities. So here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Will you be using the scooter most of the time inside the house or will you use it more for going out?
- How far do you think you would need it to go?
- How durable does it have to be according to how much you will be using it?
- If you are in a wheelchair now, is your seat is going to be your priority?
However, you don’t necessarily want to buy the scooter just because it has a wonderfully comfortable seat or can go over any terrain. You will need to pick one that has at least three of your priorities. To help you out you can go to a website called Best Mobility Scooter Reviews that has a Buying Guide that lists several things to think about before buying.
A priority to me would be a swivel seat and I want one with extra lumbar support due to my back issues. One thing about the seat is that if you don’t like it, you can replace it or modify it. However, going to the company that made the scooter isn’t always economically reasonable but you can order standard type seats in different sizes for fair prices on certain websites. On Monster Scooter Parts I found a back cushion made by Drive Medical that is made for lumbar support for $50. They say this cushion molds itself to the lower back for support and can be used in a wheelchair, scooter or computer chair. It has a sealed liner to keep moisture out and has a non-slip vinyl back to stop it from sliding around or bunching up. It comes in 16 or 18-inch width and is 17 inches high with 2-1/2 inches of thick soft cushion.
Mobility Scooter Brands
There are a tremendous amount of mobility scooter brands for you to pick from but if you’re like me you don’t really look at the brand unless you have already had experience with one brand and now you are rather partial to that brand so lean toward buying that brand again. I have not had experience with buying mobility scooters before so to give you an idea of what some brands of mobility scooters are, I picked one popular scooter brand I like and one that is up and coming to tell you about.
EV Rider won the Gold Award and the Excellence Award of the Best Power Scooters of 2017 for their RiderXpress 4-wheel model that has the capacity to turn like a three-wheel model and is durable, dexterous, and quick. EV Rider, LLC is a supplier of scooters, power mobility products and parts for people with limited mobility with their headquarters in Fort Myers, Florida, with locations in Canada, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Spain among others all over the world.
EV Rider makes several models of ranging from power chairs, transportables, to community mobilizers that are made up of mostly 4-wheel mobility scooters in both single seat and double sized seats so two people can sit in it or there is room for packages. They also have some 3-wheelers with a price range for all of them from around $975 for the Stand N Ride and up to the low $5,000.
They also make some awesome accessories, such as an 18” soft canopy for only $198, which would be sufficient enough to keep the sun off of you but it only fits certain models they make that are single seat units. They also make seats that fold down, electric horns, baskets, travel bags, safety flags (something everyone should have), cup holders, bicycle seats, and scooter, tiller, and seat covers.
The RiderXpress that won the award has true mono-shock absorber and rear suspension along with being lightweight and compact that can be disassembled within seconds and hand carried to the trunk of your car. It has the motor of a standard size scooter with large 9.5” tires. It can break down into five pieces with the heaviest weighing 46 pounds. The turning radius is 38.6 inches and has fully functional suspension. It can go over 12 miles on a single charge.
EWheels brand specializes in scooters of all types, shapes, and colors. They didn’t make the TopTen Reviews but I think they will soon. They make custom 3-wheel transportation scooters and mobility scooters. EWheels has the objective to make sure customers receive all of the benefits of purchasing their brand, such as the fact that they design scooters to be ‘lookers’ to be noticed by the public using bright colors with trendy designs that allow the driver to feel empowered while giving them freedom whether using it as a means of transportation or a mobility scooter. EWheels produces over a million electric products each year. They stand by their products as valuable with quality construction with a performance that has superior torque, acceleration, and handling. Compared to their competition, their prices are very competitive.
Some models such as the EW-80 called “Pretty in Pink” that is very pink and can make you girls feel like a princess riding it. Then there’s the EW-81 that’s called “The Dude” that is the guy’s version in black that comes with a solar-powered wireless stereo. The one I thought was really cute is the EW-82, which is called “Happy Day” that certainly looks like it would make me happy to drive it. It is bright yellow with hand painted white daisies placed around just enough to make it look lovely with the white and yellow stripped seat that reclines.
One that EWheels makes is the first mobility scooter on the market with a full cover top with a full front windshield that matches the color of the scooter and that can go a fast 15 mph. I picked this one after watching the video that shows this amazing nice looking red scooter that comes with several features that are high-end such as the covered top. This would be so great for going out to the park or somewhere else that you need to get out of the sun if you are sensitive to sunlight or just don’t want to burn if you forgot your sunscreen, plus it protects if it rains. It is also equipped with a digital electric dashboard, a music system with stereo speakers, cargo box, tubeless tires, a 700-watt motor and 60V 20AH batteries, a key fob with alarm and a cup holder.